FORT WORTH – Reversing a trial court’s decision denying arbitration, the Texas 2nd District Court of Appeal has ruled both a roofing company and a church entitled to enforceable arbitration provisions can argue their case.
The Aug. 3 ruling of Dow Roofing Systems LLC v. Great Commission Baptist Church, et al. authored by Judge Mark T. Pittman, addresses both the limited warranty and applicator agreements made between the roofing company, church and Chamberlin Roofing and Waterproofing.
“Although the court is sympathetic to the arguments presented—particularly by the church—that militate against arbitration, we are bound by precedent and must reverse under the circumstances presented,” the judge wrote in his ruling that stems from a 2006 construction project.
After five requests for roof repairs requested under the limited warranty were made by the church after the 2006 project completion, the church eventually sued Roofing and Chamberlain when said roofing reimbursement claims were denied.
That is when Dow fought to argue both the church and Chamberlain's claims founded on both limited warranty and the applicator agreement arbitration provisions. A trial court granted motions to compel arbitration in 2015.
By 2016, the church attempted to set aside and present argument against the arbitration order to which the roofing company argued the trial court should intercede. Discussing the trial court’s denial to compel arbitration between Chamberlain and the church, Pittman considered the “null and void” language related to limited warranty cited by the Church counsel.
“Because the church’s defense challenges the continuing validity of the limited warranty but does not challenge the requirements for formation of a contract, it is the arbitrator that must decide the consequences of Dow Roofing’s decision to declare the limited warranty 'null and void,’” the judge wrote.
Also discussing the applicator agreement, the judge said reversed the trial court’s order denying arbitration.
“We remand this case to the trial court with instructions to grant the motion to compel arbitration,” the judge wrote in his ruling.